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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  June 5, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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attacks on libyan leader moammar gadhafi's forces. british jets hit a military barack in tripoli and british and french attack helicopters struck for the first time inside libya this weekend. those are today's top stories. this reminder -- on july 3rd we'll be hosting a state of the union special on the american dream. we'd like to hear from you. post your own experiences with the american dream on our facebook page or e-mail us at sotu@cnn.com. thank you for watching "state of the union" i'm candy crowley in washington. up next for our viewers in the united states, "fareed zakaria gps." this is gps, global public square. welcome to those in the united states and around the world, i'm fareed zakaria. we've got a wonderful show for you today. first up, fears of a double dip, debt wars in the u.s. and europe and much more. a debate between two great economists, jeffrey sachs and
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kenneth rogoff. and then -- everyone is worried about an islamic takeover in egypt, about the impoe significance. we got to the leader of the muslim brotherhood, asking what would they do if they win the elections? germany and switzerland are shutting down their nuclear plants. what is the future of nuclear energy? i'll talk to brilliant inventor nathan myrhvold about that and why america finds itself losing in this race to innovate. tonight we'll have a special report with "time" magazine called "restoring the american dream -- how to innovate" suspect set your alarms, your dvrs, even your vcrs. come to think of it, if you have a vcr, you're not very innovative. all the talk in the united
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states and europe is about deficit and debt. in washington the battle over debt ceiling continues. let me tell you about the real crisis we face in america and europe has its own version of this. a crisis that could cripple america's economy and its society and would make the debt problem much, much worse. it is america's job crisis. the number of americans who are unemployed has roughly doubled since the financial crisis and recession hit. and though that number is declining, it is doing so very slowly. most new jobs are for part-time work at wages that average $19,000, that is half the median income. official unemployment number does not include the millions who have stopped looking for work or are working part time. so, if you had these numbers together, the actual number of americans without a real full-time job is closer to 24 million. everyone is expecting the normal pattern of growth and job creation will start up soon. except that it hasn't.
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two years into the recovery, growth is stuck at about 2% and job creation has reached 250,000 a month, which might sound high but is actually barely enough to keep pace with all the new workers entering the job market for the first time. if unemployment doesn't drop a great deal fast and it shows no signs of doing this, problems proliferate in all directions. the most significant impact is on the lives of the unemployed. studies show that after a few years of not working, people lose their talents, their skills, the work habits that make it possible for them to work productively and to be productive citizens. they risk becoming a lost generation, lost to their country, their communities, their families. the new normal of slower growth and lower job creation also means lower tax revenues, more unemployment and health benefits to be paid out. therefore, a much larger deficit.
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president obama's budget assumes the economy will create 20 million jobs over the next ten years. that will be a dramatic acceleration. over the past ten years, it has produced only 1.7 million. congressman paul ryan's plan envisions unemployment dropping to 50-ee lows. that would require magic at this point. if you assume unemployment stays high, the deficit and debt becomes unimaginably higher. what can we do? several things to spur job creation pip wrote about them last week on "time" magazine, you can find them on time.com. briefly, create a regulatory and tax climate that helps small businesses since they create most of the new jobs, revive manufacturing by focusing on research, technical training and apprenticeship, help growth industries like entertainment and tourism to expand and, perhaps most urgently, rebuild
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america's dilapidated infrastructure and put many people in the construction and housing industries back to work. the crucial point is if you care about america's economy, including and centrally including the deficit, you need to get people back to work. being productive, spending money and paying taxes. and we need to do this fast. let's get started. it was a week of almost all bad economic news. bad housing data, bad job numbers, bad news from europe and bad days for the financial markets. the battle over the debt ceiling continues as does the dead lock over deficit reduction. what to make of it all? on my left and the left, i suppose s columbia university's jeffrey sachs. the other side of the table, harvard university's ken rogoff. welcome, gentlemen.
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jeff, when you look at these job numbers, if you do the math, we're creating about 250,000 jobs a quarter. that barely takes into account the new entrance to the labor market. i did a back of the envelope calculation, it will be 12 years before we get to 7% unemployment. >> of course, there is a lot of uncertainty right now but i think what is clear is the economy is dragging, unemployment is high and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. of course, the headline unemployment number hides a lot of suffering of people that have withdrawn from the labor market or working only short hours because they have to. so, this economy is still sick. it is not showing dynamism and we have serious problems ahead. >> what do you do with this problem of unemployment? if the unemployment numbers
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don't go down, even the budget projections are all off, they assume -- the president's budget presu assumes we'll create jobs. if you put today's unemployment rate in those budget projections, the deficit is 50% bigger. >> i don't think having the government solve everything is the answer. >> what is the answer? how do you -- all i'm saying is, if the unemployment numbers don't go down, the deficit goes up substantially. >> it's going to go up if we don't grow faster, that's a key to how well we do. i mean, i'm cautiously optimistic that over the medium term we will start to grow faster. very, very hard to know how soon. we have a lot of debt hanging out in the economy. i actually think that's the major headwind at the moment. public debt, private debt. just piling it on, piling it on. instead of talking about a bad year, we could be talking about a bad decade. >> what's the evidence the public debt is the headwind when
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we. are able to borrow more cheaply than we ever have been able to in history? >> there's a lot of ed looking at historical data, when you start getting uninto the territory, we are at some point, it hits you. you may not have a crisis like they're having in europe, but have you to do something quicker than you'd like, raise taxes, cut spending and that slows growth. so, it's sort of pay now or pay later. i'd like to smooth it out. >> what should we do about europe. europe is an interesting case. probably in europe very have no option. they probably had to cut spending because the deficit was ballooning, greece wasn't able to borrow money. now the rescue package that has been provided for greece does not seem large enough. germany officials are talking about maybe let the greeks restructure. on the other hand, there are other european officials who say, no, no, no, this will be another lehman brothers. it will cause a run on all european banks. what's the right answer? >> the problem in the southern
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tier periphery countries, especially grooeshgs they have a lot of debt now. and in order to pay that debt, they would have to make a great austerity measures, which are socially very disruptive and very, very large. greece is kind of a borderline because the burden of this debt, more than 100% of national income, means the interest payments each year, several percent of gnp really gets them. on one hand it's no small thing to pay this debt off. or even to service it. on the other hand, simply defaulting could be devastating for the greek economy and could have very big repercussions. i've been in the view they should take the austerity measures, they should try to pay the debt that they haven't yet demonstrated yes or no whether it's possible -- >> don't let greece default, in other words? >> that's my view. >> would you agree with that? >> i don't.
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first i want to say, they're still getting money. they're not paying net interest. they're getting more money than they're having to pay back. so, it really hasn't been tested what they're willing to do. i just think -- >> the budget cuts are real. >> the budget cuts are real but a lot of them are projected. >> do you think it's just inevitable they -- they can't pay back these? >> well, you never say can't with a country because so much is about politics and willingness to pay. but i can say if you look at what they owe foreigners and what they owe domestically, it's a scale where it's very, very rare to dig your way out, unless they grow like china. if they grow like china, it will be great. >> do you think you can avoid a crisis? in other words, do you see some way of muddling through? this has been the european approach so far because they don't want another potential lehman brothers. >> i've been involved in many, many debt restructuring circumstances, but usually the countries end up in -- or not
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end up, they're already in a very, very deep mess and even after the restructuring it takes some time to get out of. so, i'm weary of if, for all the reasons you're saying. i can't guarantee there is a way out. i just wouldn't rush into it and even though austerity is painful, these are developed economies. these are not people living at the edge of extreme poverty. these are countries that can do better and should do better. all of it is very, very tough. there's no question about it. but the muddling through at this moment, i think, is actually still the best very imperfect but the best way forward. >> i have to ask you. i think i know what jeff feels on this to finally -- republicans and the debt ceiling, does it make sense to play -- to play with this? does it make sense to play a game of brinksmanship on the debt ceiling issue? >> i'm not very happy about it. i mean, i understand in politics, you know, no holds
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barred, you have to do what you can to exercise power to get your way, but it seems like an unattractive way to run things. mind you, the democrats have voted against the debt ceiling when they were in the other position. it sort of telescopes all decisions into this one big day where you make all these decisions. and i don't think we're really coming out with smart decisions at the end. we need tax reform. not just tax hikes. we don't just need spending cuts. there are areas we need spending increases. we need to rethink the government in a positive way. we are in trouble if we take 15 years to figure this out. we're not greece but you know what, in 15 years like this, we will be. we can have growth. we can do things better but i don't see it happening. >> on that note, ken, jeff, thank you very much. we will be right back. >> you know that many people think of the muslim brotherhood as believes in political islam
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or violence or extremism or jihad. what do you say to people like that? [ male announcer ] this is lara. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
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when you hear people talk about the dangers of political
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islam, they're thinking of the muslim brotherhood, the large l largest political movement in egypt, probably the most islamic political party in the world. founded in 1928 with slogan, islam is the solution. it promises to make the koran and its teachings the sole reference point for ordering the life of the muslim family, individual, community and state. it is officially been against violence but has it-h breakaway groups and members who have practiced jihad. it has been banned as a political party in egypt for decad decades, a ban lifted only this year in the wake of egypt's democratic revolution. but even if it is nonviolent, how would it impose its religious views on egypt? is islam compatible with democracy? when i was in cairo recently i sat down with one of the muslim brotherhood senior leaders who also serves as the group's spokesman, generally regarded as the moderate face of brotherhood
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and many liberals told me they were worried this is the message the brotherhood wanted to get out publicly but it might harbor more radical intentions. we'll follow that careful by but for now a rare opportunity to hear from the brotherhood itself. >> dr. el erian, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for coming to egypt. >> you are the face of the muslim brotherhood. are you the spokesman. you are very senior in the organization. let's start by just introducing you to my viewers. what do you do? >> i'm a physician. earning my life from hematologist and laboratory man. >> so, you're a hematologist? >> i am still hematologist and lab. >> and yet you are a senior figure in the muslim brotherhood and the brotherhood has been band for many, many years, until recently, of course. did you spend any time in jail?
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>> i spent about seven years, ten months in jail. i was charged by managing and affiliating to muslim brotherhood, which was outlawed organization. >> so, it was just the fact you belonged to the muslim brotherhood, that you managed -- >> only. no charges of any activities except political, social and educational activities. >> now, you know that many people in the western world, particularly, think of the muslim brotherhood as an organization that is -- believes in political islam or violence or extremism or jihad. what do you say to people like that? >> i say to them, you must go to islam itself to understand islam. islam is islam. and i think islam is a very peaceful religion. it's a way of life.
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it is cooperating with all others, respecting all religions, respecting humanity, respecting peace and responsibility, working for peace in the world. >> what did you think of the assassination of osama bin laden? >> we as muslim brotherhood condemn violence. we were waiting for trial for osama bin laden because we want to know everything about which was directed, charged by osama bin laden himself. and also we are against any intervention, mainly by force, by violence, which violates sovereignty of any country, especially pakistan. we ask after killing osama bin laden it is a time to withdraw troops from afghanistan, after
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destroying the country, and also from iraq. mr. obama promised his voters, not us, that he is going to end such war, which was killing more than killed in 11 september. now maybe- millions are killed. >> do you think terrorism is ever justified? >> nobody can justify terrorism at all. killing innocent people is condemned in all religions, in any law. >> do you believe that a woman is worth half her man? because the shariah says a woman counts as half a woman would inherit half as muchs a man, a man can divorce a woman but a woman cannot divorce a man. >> but also said woman is equal to man. and this cases you mentioned must be explained and understood
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in the whole context of the shariah. woman in some cases inherit more than men. and woman in some cases may have equal to the man. and in such -- in many -- in some cases can have half of the men. depends in every case. >> one of the questions that lots of people have, this is not just westerners, this is egyptians who tell me, ask him, what does he want to do? what does the muslim brotherhood want to do if they do a chief power, if they get power in egypt? what is their vision for egypt? so, what would you change? would you like to see stricter interpretation of shariah? would you like to see women given subordinate rule -- roles? what is your vision? >> i would like those egyptian people to ask me face to face, not via media. and we are -- >> you can't talk to 18 million
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egyptians so i'm going to do it for you. >> not all egyptians watch cnn. so, they are facing us everywhere. first of all, we are not going to catch power in egypt. >> but what would you -- what would you change about egypt today? >> we are going to have independent democratic civil country. this is our main goal now. and i think this is gang a very national consensus. the people are the only source of authority is the people themselves. >> so, would you support the kind of civil law egypt has now rather than a religious law? >> in islam, you don't have a religious law. in islam you have a civil law. civil law means that the people have decision in their parliament after keeping in mind difference of shariah,
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difference of islam -- >> would nonmuslims have the same right as muslims? >> non-muslims, infideels have equal rights. >> the kind of program sound very moderate, very modern. why do you think people are still so suspicious? and i say, again n egypt, lots of people tell me their dengss are not -- >> unknown is state of law. not muslim brotherhood. the whole chance now, it is the first time for them to have the power by themselves. and to elect a parliament by themselves. and to appoint a president by themselves. first time for both since two centuries. suspicious not towards us only. towards everything. >> what is the action you want to see from president obama? >> we ask, stop supporting
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dictatorships, stop neglecting palestinian rights, stop the war on terrorism which damage the islamic world and, unfortunately, he never done so. >> essam el erian, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we'll be back. >> we must stand with those who want to build pakistan. >> providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but we believe it is essential to global security and the security of the united states. t0 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550
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now for a story that will get you thinking and might even make you rethink some firmly held views. first some facts -- since 9/11 a decade ago, washington has given the government of pakistan more than $20 billion in aid. two-thirds of that has gone to the military to fight the war on terror. the other third, about $6 billion, has gone for development of pakistan's civilian economy and society. the theory behind many of those billions of dollars is that by bringing pakistan's poorest out of poverty and despair, fewer young men will be seduced by radical islam. >> they rely on assistance in order to be able to wage this fight with us. >> we must stand with those who want to build pakistan. >> providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but we believe it is essential to global security and the security of the united states. >> and admirable approach for sure.
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it's a strategy the u.s. uses all over the world from baghdad to d to bali and back. what if you discover aid money does not make pakistan less likely to turn to terror? what if you learn there's actually no correlation between being poor and supporting islamic extremism? well, that's what a new serious academic study seems to prove pipts a robust survey by four academics from princeton, georgetown, conducting extensive field research in pakistan, interviewing 6,000 people across a broad spectrum of income groups and geography and their findings could challenge the way we approach fighting terror. not just in pakistan but around the world. first, they find in general pakistanis don't like militant groups. not just al qaeda but the other ones like the pakistani or afghan taliban. second, con temporary to conventional wisdom, pakistanis
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like military groups more than middle classes. the group who hate it the most is urban poor, probably because more than any other group they are the ones impacted by terror attacks, bombs in subways, cafes, whatever. it's an interesting conclusion. the people we've long considered the likeliest candidates for extremism are actually the ones most against it. the study points out that this goes against most of the existing policy literature on the subject. it cites both the u.s. state department and the uk's department as saying poverty motivates people to extreme violence. now, giving aid to poor people is good in and of itself, but if we have been doing that to prevent them from becoming fundamentalists then this study showing we are aiming at the wrong target. research shows members of the
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ira in northern ireland or hezbollah militant ring are more likely to come from economically advantaged family with a relatively high level of school pentagon. these are important issues for washington to consider. who doesn't want -- does it wan give economic aid to? those are long-term issues. for now, what i want to say in the short term is, let's at least focus on accountability for this aid. for both hard and soft aid. we need to demand results. what is the money achieving? a cnn poll from last week shows nearly half of all americans think all aid to pakistan should be stopped. another quarter think it should be reduced. it seems like ten years and $20 billion later, the american people understand basic lessons in accounting, that washington has been learning the hard way. pentagon documents now show that we are rejecting nearly half of islamabad's claims for expenses over the last two years. but the more important question is, will the pakistani military
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n return for all this money, finally move against the terror organizations that they claim to be willing to battle? it's long delayed but it is the right message that we should be sending. american purse strings are important and necessary from afghanistan to zimbabwe, but they don't have to remain open at all costs. and we will be right back. >> the world has little over 400 nuclear plants right now. there are people who predict china will build 400 just in china within the course of the next 30 years. [ male announcer ] at e-trade, low cost investing doesn't just mean a low price.
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nation's nuclear power program would be phased out entirely by 2022. remember germany gets almost a quarter of its power from nuclear energy today. germany's neighbor, switzerland, said its own power grids would be nuclear free by 2032. both decisions can be traced back to the nuclear meltdowns in japan following the earthquake and tsunami in march. is this rational? that's what i wanted to get to the bottom of. so, i've asked one of the most brilliant mind i know, who is trying to create a safer nuclear power plant with new technology. nathan myrhvold. his story is amazing, he had a ph.d. by 23, chief technology officer at microsoft, paleontologist who has discovered nine t-rex, a master chef and his company holds 30,000 patents, all in a day's work, right? welcome back to the program, nathan. >> great to be here. >> when you saw what was happening in japan, what was your reaction? >> well, i think the first thing
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to understand, this is a slide rule-era plant designed in the 1960s and designed with a bunch of design decisions that you just have to question. as was typical of plant of that era, it's unsafe if the electricity every goes off. you needed to pump coolant through the plant at all timed. you should never have the electricity off. on, the strategy was to say, final, let's have diesel generators as backup. and to put the diesel generator essentially at sea level in an area that gets tsunamis. the problem is that the water from the tsunami flooded the diesel generators. and at that point they were pretty much screwed. but things got worse from that point onward. the response to the disaster, you know, in washington we say the cover-up is worse than the crime. well, in a disaster, the disaster response or lack thereof can be worse than the disaster itself.
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that's what happened in this case. >> but, with all that said, what i'm struck by is, not one person has died as a result of the nuclear power plant's failings. one person died because a crane hit that person. what does that tell you? >> well, you know, it shows how concerned people are about nuclear technology. that you have -- no one knows fully yet, 10,000, 15,000 people die in the tsunami? essentially no one dies because of the radioactivity? yet from the coverage you would think the radioactivity was the primary issue. the fact is, living near the sea shore in japan is dangerous. and with probability one, there will be a tsunami. now, in this case the plant was not designed very well for that. they never should have had those generators as low as they did. today's plants aren't designed that way at all. a typical modern generation plant doesn't rely on electricity.
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our plant is designed to even a level above that. literally, if you just shut the coolant off, the plant's fine. and unless you sucked all the air aaway from that, in which case we would probably have bigger problems. >> what about people who say, the problem with nuclear power is not so much it's dangerous, it's really expensive. commercially it really isn't justified. the only way it works is because of massive government subsidies. >> nuclear is really expensive in this country and in europe. in part because of the way that the relatively undisciplined way we've built them in the past. >> what does that mean? >> well, most plants were built one-off separate different each plant. it was like every home was an absolute custom home where nothing was done quite the same way before. >> you don't have the economies of scale you get from having a single kind of template that is then -- >> in china, the -- all of the
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indications are that they are building nuclear plants for the same price or cheaper than coal plants. >> wow. so, your technology, why is it a real step forward. >> i think the first thing you have to do is say, what energy problem are we trying to solve. inmy view, the energy problem for the 21st century is this -- how do we get developed world per capita energy to every citizen of earth. if you look at the developing world, if you look at china and india and brazil. the whole world wants our per capita energy level. we're talking about a energy pie ten bigger than what we're talking about today. that's a very different problem. >> your nuclear technology tries to solve the problem that says, with the growth of the emerging markets you're going to need to consume massively more energy than you're consuming now and this is why this works. >> that's right, that's right. as an example, the world has a
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little over 400 nuclear plants right now. there are people who predict china will build 400 just in china within the course of the next 30 years. i mean, doubling the total just in that one country. so, to do this, you need to have an energy technology that scales. we also have the possibility that we can burn nuclear waste as fuel. so, we can take spent fuel rods from other reactors or we can take the depleted uranium waste that comes from separating waste and we can burn that as fuel. that's an amazing thing because that would allow us to run the whole u.s. economy for more than 100 years on stuff we've already dug up and costing taxpayers money guarding it as dangerous nuclear waste. >> how close are you to actually being able to build a plant using your technology? >> so, we're in the process of doing a plant design. but then there's all the technical and regulatory issues. because the plant has to be built somewhere. it has to be in someone's
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backyard. if everyone is a not in my backyard mode, you're kind of stuck. because of the fukushima situation, this has not been the best six months to be out there trying to convince people to build a new nuclear technology. fortunately, there's parts of the world that realize that there is this energy crisis coming. and that's mostly what we're talking. >> we'll come back and talk more with nathan. when we come back, we'll talk about the challenges from china, from south carolina to american innovation. 
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i'm candy crowley. despite a disappointing may jobs report, the white house says the economy is still showing signs of improvement. austin goolsbee told me on "state of the union" -- >> the president's plan, there is a plan, it has been working. we have been adding jobs
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significantly over the course of this year. we faced a stiff headwind and this was -- this was a tough month, but i don't think we should abandon the idea that what we need to do now is get the private sector stood up. >> you can see more interview at noon eastern on "state of the union". more violence amid transfer of power in yemen. they say gunmen have attacked the presidential palace in the country's second largest city a day of president saleh left the country for medical treatment in saudi arabia. yemen's vice president is now the acting head of state. a very tense situation today along the syrian/golan heights border. syrian tv say six pro-palestinian protesters were killed and dozens wounded by israeli troops as they tried to cross into golan heights. protests mark the anniversary of the 1967 six day war. those are your top stories.
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and we are back with nathan myrhvold, former chief technologist with microsoft. one of the things you've talked about is when we talk about nuclear power, you keep talking about, well, the chinese are doing this, the south koreans are doing this. they're actually doing better than we are in many areas. how worried are you the united states is no longer going to be the place that invents the future? >> i'm very worried. you know, current course and speed, we're very good at inv t inventing, but we're also undermining our ability to do that in lots of ways. in the case of nuclear, we decided as a nation to stop building nuclear plants 30 years ago. pretty hard to have good innovation on new plants if you stop building them. >> what about in other technologie
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technologies? >> the trouble is when you get successful, it's easy to get fat, dumb and happy and lazy about things. and, unfortunately, as a nation, we often tended to do that. china recently announced that it's going on a big policy push to have file more patents and have the strongest patent system and the largest number of patents in the world. while they're getting serious, we tend to fiddle while rome burns. >> do you worry about funding for basic research and science? >> absolutely. a lot of the prosperity the united states got in the tech sector was due to fundamental ininvestments darpa and other government agencies made through the '60s, '70s and '80s. they're not making the same kind of investments now. in part, the industry is there, industry will take care of it, but industry can take care of a class of things. really basic fundamental needs still have to come from the
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government. you know, one of the things striking me historically is the united states became the world's inventor at a stage when we were a developing country. the 19th century america is primari primarily cultural nation, starting to move into heavy industry. even by 1850 we had invented things like the telegraph, the cotton gin. we were the world es invint enwhen we were the equivalent of the world's brazil. that's a remarkable transition. we have the spirit. we have the ability to do it. you just have to make sure government and policies don't get in the way of it. if we can manage to not get lazy i think we can play an important role as the world's inventors for a long time to come. the combination of innovation and change and thoughtfulness
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and risk taking, that's been unique here. it won't be unique forever. we can't be cavalier about that. >> nathan, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you. >> if you find this stuff as fascinating and important as i do, you won't want to miss a special edition of gps tonight at 8 p.m. eastern. it's the next installment of our "restoring the american dream" special and this one is called "how to innovate." we called upon some of the greatest minds in innovation today to talk about how to solve the rather dire situation nathan myrhvold just talked about. we'll show you amazing recent innovations. don't miss it tonight at 8 p.m. eastern and pacific. we'll be right back.
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our question this week from the gps challenge is -- to conserve power after the recent nuclear meltdown, what are japanese authorities asking their reluctant citizenry to do? a, dress casually? b, shower communally? c, sleep outdoors? d, turn off all gadgetgadgets?
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stay tuned. check out our website, the global public square, where you'll find smart interviews and takes by some of our favorite experts. you can also follow me on facebook and on twitter. now, i hope you will indulge me. this week's book of the week is my book. the post american world, it is out in a special 2.0 edition. the original version was published more than three years ago and since then we have had the global financial crisis and president obama's election, so i have updated it to try to take into account these rather large phenomenon. whether you read the original orren, i'm sure you'll get a lot out of the new version. now, you remember on president obama's recent visit to europe, his car hit a bump on its way out from the u.s. embassy in dublin. a minor blip for the vehicle, we've come to know as the beast. it turns out the car ran afoul of another hurdle. london's infamous con gregs charge. caused the travel in the city
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center are charged for that privilege. turns out president obama has to pay, too. about $16 for the beast and the same amount for each and every car in his motorcade. it also turns out this charge is a bit of a sticking point. london's lord mayor johnson is said to have told the president at the state dinner at buckingham palace the u.s. government owed him nearly $9 million in congestion charge fines. the u.s. embassy in london disputes that. it says the charges are a type of tax and by law, diplomatic missions are exempt from taxes. london contests this. is anyone exempt from these charges? yes, the pope, at least sort of. johnson says the possibpe mobils not charged with the tax because all the roads were closed for the day. sounds strange to me. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was, a, the traditionally buttoned

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